Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA), the annual conference for underground electronic music artists, is shutting down after 21 years. Parent company Red Bull says that RBMA as well as music station Red Bull Radio will cease operations after 31 October 2019. Yadastar, the consulting firm that handles and co-developed RBMA, is parting ways with Red Bull and says that the split was amicable. Red Bull says that it will continue to support electronic music through more localised events that rely on Red Bull country teams.
Red Bull became an unlikely champion of underground electronic music when it launched RBMA back in 1998. Many world-touring headliners are RBMA alumni including Nina Kraviz, Objekt, Flying Lotus, Tokimonsta, Sophie, Similarobjects and Black Coffee. Its workshops and panels have been graced by legends including Brian Eno, Björk, Questlove and Laurent Garnier.
It’s sad to hear that RBMA is going away – many DJ/producers dream of being accepted into the programme which is known for its stringent screening process. But news of Red Bull doing more country-specific events is encouraging, and could possibly mean that there will be more learning opportunities for DJs and music producers in future Red Bull-sponsored workshops.
Likewise, since Yadastar is the one that actually runs the academy, it could very well decide to partner up with another youth-oriented, edgy brand that would like to fill in Red Bull’s shoes (pun intended as Nike comes to mind!).
What are your thoughts on this? Did you want to join RBMA at some point in your career? Let us know below.